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Thread: Lawsuit or Recall of Am,Standard Champion toilets ?

  1. #16
    DIY Junior Member JHZR2's Avatar
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    Well, work has been hectic and I've been traveling a lot. My home repairs amounted to the replacement of a through wall AC which took a lot of time. Finally I've replaced that gasket.

    My symptoms were intermittent leaking (hearing the toilet water fill cycle) and a hard time getting a good flush (have to push the handle hard and hold it hard, in order to get any good flow.

    So I went to HD to buy the seal. Of course my Champion 4 has a tank number different from any listed on the container, but the seal looked identical so I went with it.

    I'll say that the blue OE seal looked brand new and had no signs of wear, blisters, grooves, etc.

    The first step is to get the black nut out, which means disconnecting the chain from the handle (cotter pin and a connecting pin is all it takes), and then loosen it. There is a bump on the lid that creates a "locked" position for the wings on the nut. You need to overcome one of them to be able to really loosen it. Then it's easy.



    My old seal was ok, though it did feel a little harder than the new one.



    So I installed the new one:



    Then lubed up the o ring on the black nut so it turned easy. I used krytox grease.


  2. #17
    DIY Junior Member JHZR2's Avatar
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    Then put the flap on and tightened it with the black nut. The nut can be really hard to get real tight. Getting it to click a few tines, requires some good force, and one of the little tabs that iDisk in there broke off when I tightened it too much.



    So it flushes well, but I did reposition the chain and adjust its length a bit.



    But I noticed after a little while that the toilet was adding water every few seconds. So I removed the assembly, removed and reapplied the new seal, and tightened the nut a few more turns. In fact it took a lot more tightening, but I'm at max point. I think it is holding water, but time will tell if it is slowly leaking.

    So that's where I'm at. I assume I got the right part based upon similarity.

    Hope this helps!

  3. #18
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    You have the right seal. There's just one for the new-style Champion flush valve, which you have.

    Great photos! You have provided us a nice, clear, how-to guide for replacing the seal, which others will probably review quite a bit.

    Sounds like you're in business. One question: does the end of that black refill tube go very far down the overflow riser? I see the clip there, but I can't tell where the end of the tube is; you just want to make sure that the end of that tube is always above the water level in your toilet; otherwise, you can lose some of the tank volume to a siphon through that tube down the overflow riser, sometimes enough to cause the water control (fill valve) to turn on again. Some manufacturers actually daylight the end of the tube, with a little nozzle or clip attached, above the lip of the overflow riser to prevent that. AS still shoves it in the overflow riser, with that clip intended to make sure it doesn't go too far down, but if the tank level is raised high enough, you can get a siphon. Just a question, and an irrelevant one if the spontaneous running/refilling has stopped for good.

    Congratulations on a job well done!

    PS Love the little ducky (if that's what it is) in the bottom of the first photo.

    Keywords for thread: replace Champion 4 flush valve seal accelerator gasket leaking running flapper
    Last edited by wjcandee; 08-30-2012 at 01:46 PM.

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member JHZR2's Avatar
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    Hi!

    Yes it is a green rubber duck!

    Unfortunately my job is not as good as Id like, while the first few flushes it seems to seal and hold water, we woke up this AM to the toilet pulling water about once every five seconds for about a second.

    Your note of the black tube being too far down was a good one, and so I fixed it right away hoping that it was the culprit, but no luck.

    So if we sit at the toilet and listen, we continuously hear a slight trickle of water that is slipping by the seal somehow. I have taken the whole thing apart and put it back together twice now. No idea what the issue is. It just leaks.

    The red seal looks and feels great, Ive tightened the black nut down to the point where it cannot tighten down onto the rod any further. It almost feels like the flap doesnt go far enough down to have a real tight, good seal, though Im not really sure how to fix this, and besides the water loss, there isnt a real good way to verify that it is really the case. The times Ive stuck my hand down there, it sure feels tight underwater... But when I mess with it with no water in there, I feel like it doesnt sit far enough and tight enough down.

    Any suggestions? Im about to go back to the old blue seal, but that isnt a real solution. How annoying, this repair isnt overly complex.

    Thanks!

  5. #20
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Well, you've got 3 possible paths to leak: 1) around the outer perimeter of the red seal, between the seal and the tank; 2) around the red seal - green thingy junction; 3) around the center black connector to the green thingy. Every other toilet I've ever seen has only 1 path, path (1), which is pretty well-proven technology. I can't for the life of me see why someone would introduce 2 additional leakage paths into a simple device like a flapper valve, but they did. Anyway, let's look at the other two paths.

    For (3), I see what looks like an o-ring on the black connector piece. O-rings are usually intended to be the sealing part of a connection where they're employed, so I'm wondering if tightening the daylights out of the black connector is hurting more than helping, maybe deforming the green thingy so that the O-ring can't seal properly. I'd try just tightening it finger-tight, if that's practical -- I haven't seen one of these, so don't know how the O-ring actualy makes its seal, or what you're actually tightening when you turn the wing nut.

    For (2), How is the seal made between the red seal and the green thingy? It looks like the green thingy is on top, there's a black thingy underneath, and those two things make a sandwich with the red seal. The black center connector in the center just holds them all together. If that's so, you shouldn't need much force to hold that sandwich together -- the seal is really made by the head of water pressing the green thingy onto the red seal, and the red seal onto the tank. A little shifting around of the sandwich layers might enhance the seal, again suggesting a loose fit of the center connector might be better.

    For (1), as I mentioned above, the basic flapper seal is pretty well-proven technology. However, in my Totos, the flapper is one-piece, and it just kind of falls into place, and water pressure makes the seal.

    Welcome to research.

  6. #21
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    I wonder whether lubing the o-ring made any difference in terms of leaks.

    The basics on this thing are: (1) have chain and trip lever set so it pulls the thing up vertically AND have the right amount of slack so it's not pulling the thing up ever so slightly when you put the lid on [had a toilet that was doing this -- looked like enough slack, then when put lid on it leveled the trip lever by pressing on part of it, leveling trip lever pulled on chain, chain was just taught enough to pull flapper up a smidge] ; (2) have a good sandwich [AS says 2-clicks]; (3) have a good gasket (you have the best one, and the fact that it now is flushing well, even if not sealing well, suggests that changing it was a good idea0.

    Let's see how significant your leak is. I would mark the water level with a pencil, turn off the water to the toilet, leave it a few hours or overnight, and see where the water settles to. That is of some significance when evaluating leaks that aren't fixed by changing the seal. Let us know and we'll go from there.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by wjcandee; 08-30-2012 at 01:46 PM.

  7. #22
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjcandee View Post
    I would mark the water level with a pencil, turn off the water to the toilet, leave it a few hours or overnight, and see where the water settles to.
    If he's got another toilet to use in the meantime, he could leave it for a looong time and note the water level when it stops leaking - presumably at the level of the flapper somewhere. If there's enough head to support the leak all the way down until the leak path is uncovered, he's got it nailed. I just noticed there's a light blue structure of some kind below the flapper -- maybe there's a leak associated with it. He could eliminate that fairly quickly by turning off the valve, flushing while holding the flapper open, then putting some food coloring in the remaining water and see if it finds its way into the bowl.
    Last edited by Mikey; 08-30-2012 at 10:02 AM.

  8. #23
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    If it's refilling every 5 seconds, it isn't going to take overnight for the water to settle. Having worked with a few posters and absorbing the wisdom of these forums, the possibilities are:
    (1) leak around seal;
    (1a) leak around o-ring;
    (2) crack in flush valve, either above the flapper or below;
    (3) siphon (eliminated as a possibility here);
    (4) crack in toilet (apparently eliminated here);
    (5) leak in seal between flush valve and toilet.

    The water level test is helpful. We solved a mystery leak in one poster's toilet when we discovered a crack in the overflow riser about 1-1/4" from top of riser. (Homeowner fixed with tape.) Cracks in base of flush valve require removing tank to replace valve and I don't know if this homeowner feels like going through that unless it's absolutely necessary.

    One thing I have been curious about as we help these Champion owners with the stupid "accelerator" (NOT) flush valve is whether a 3" Toto flush valve with a flapper (or with the adjustable Korky 3" flapper to get the flush volume just right), might be a good replacement for the "accelerator". If I had a Champion, I would do the experiment myself, just as I did the experiment of replacing the Red Korky flapper in the Toto with the Blue Korky flapper to see how much difference the extra flush volume made. I suspect that the issue would be something to do with the flush valve nut and/or gasket, if there was an issue.
    Last edited by wjcandee; 08-30-2012 at 10:44 AM.

  9. #24
    DIY Junior Member JHZR2's Avatar
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    I stopped the water when just the red gasket was covered but not the black thing on top. I could still hear water trickling, so it seems that it is the gasket somehow. These things are pretty foolproof, so I fail to see what I could have done wrong twice... But I going to swap back to the blue one tonight or tomorrow and see...

  10. #25
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Doesn't seem like your test precludes a crack in the flush valve base, although that's a less-likely scenario.

    One poster on the HD web site suggested putting both seals together; said it solved his leak. I am highly-dubious about that solution, but as long as you're experimenting...

    Also might try wiping the lube off the o-ring.

    Hope this helps.

  11. #26
    DIY Junior Member JHZR2's Avatar
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    it could be, but while there always was a very slow leak that caused a very seldom cycling of the fill valve, it is very fast now that I have the other seal on. Im going to try the double trick, and if it works, I may just go buy two red ones and stack them...

  12. #27
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    To quickly confirm the flush valve base is OK, just hold the valve open and see if the trickle continues after the water level drops below the rim where the red seal seats.

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by plumbtired View Post
    ....Per the Champion defects: American Standard is replacing the miserable piston-style flush valve with the flapper style, as shown in Terry's photo. It's a world of difference on how the Champion toilet performs...well worth the replacement's hassle of removing the tank, then re-seating it. .......
    At the Am Std website, the Champion being sold has a piston-style flush valve.

    Meet the ChampionŽ 4:
    Elongated Right Height siphon action jetted bowl
    EverCleanŽ Surface
    Low-consumption (6.0 Lpf/1.6 gpf)
    4" piston action Accelerator™ flush valve
    12" (305mm) rough-in
    2-3/8" fully-glazed trapway
    Rim height at 16-1/2" (419mm)
    100% factory flush tested
    2 bolt caps
    Seat not included
    10 year warranty

  14. #29
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by netmouse View Post
    At the Am Std website, the Champion being sold has a piston-style flush valve.
    You are correct that that's how they still describe it. The flush valve is a marketing gimmick (the flush hole really isn't 4"; it's 3"). It's there to convince people that there is something special about their flush valve that makes the water go faster or enhances the flush. There isn't -- not more than a 3" valve anyway. Reflects the American approach: try to make a lot of drama about "pushing the stuff down", rather than quietly opening and smoothing the trapway so the stuff just quietly slides out of the bowl with just a little push, like Toto does.

    They originally had a "tower" flush valve that went click-clack and looked like a shock-absorber which they called a piston. It was a huge disaster, a leak-o-matic. They tried to improve it but it still was a problem, so they decided to replace it. But they needed something cool and different LOOKING to replace it. And got Fluidmaster to make them the current thing. Since "piston-action" is a meaningless phrase, I guess they can call anything, including this dumb thing, a piston, and I guess they did so to keep the "piston action" marketing material consistent.

    Nice catch. To us, the piston (i.e. the old tower flush valve) is history, but to them, the old piston has been replaced with a new piston. Which doesn't look or act like a piston, so go figure.

    PS I should add to this that one of the most amusing and dumb things in the latest Consumer Reports article on toilets is their statement that old flapper flush valves are being replaced with modern plastic ones, which should be more reliable. There are so many laughable statements in there I just don't know where to begin. Remember when Consumer Reports actually used scientists to do evaluations? The AS "modern" "plastic" valves have been disasters. At the end of the day, of course, plastic doesn't seal holes, rubber (and its ilk) does. Using more plastic and less rubber doesn't make the thing more reliable. AS learned this when having to agree to replace every tower flush valve ever sold for free, after first trying a modified design which didn't work. What was the big change from the first Tower flush valve to the second? More rubber. Still didn't fix it. What does the "accelerator" have over the Tower? More rubber. And it's still something of a pain to repair. Pretty humorously, AS's toilet fixing web tool (which gives wrong answers to many simple questions) frequently recommends that you just change the whole flush valve. Right. Because changing the seal seems to be a challenging task for many, unlike changing those "old style" flappers.
    Last edited by wjcandee; 08-31-2012 at 09:57 AM.

  15. #30
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bioclean View Post
    there seemed to be a lot of earlier issues with the Champion.But the Champion may have most of it resolved.
    OR...the quality control still sucks and this new "accelerator" flush valve is misleading and a pain to repair. That said, you are correct that the hugest problem -- with the flush valve -- was fixed. Sort of. Unfortunately, it was done by having every homeowner remove their tank (or pay a plumber to do it) in order to replace one dumb design flush valve with another.

    However, many people like these toilets, and many people have these toilets, and many people will need to replace the seals on these toilets.

    Thank you though for your nice words about the thread. I think you are correct that it will be useful to many.
    Last edited by wjcandee; 08-31-2012 at 10:39 AM.

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